Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 nears 172 million as Covax vaccine-sharing program gets $2.4 billion boost

The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed to 171.7 million on Thursday, while the death toll rose to 3.69 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. remained in the lead globally in cases with 33.3 million and deaths with 595,833, JHU data show, but the seven-day average for cases has fallen 46% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker, for deaths has dropped 35% and for hospitalizations has declined 22% as vaccinations continue to increase. The number of Americans fully vaccinated increased to 136 million, or 41% of the total population, while the number of people who are at least 18 years old who have been fully vaccinated grew to 133.8 million, or 51.9% of the population. There was positive vaccine news from a summit hosted by Japan and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, which leads the WHO’s Covax program, which aims to deliver vaccines to lower-income countries. The summit ended with $2.4 billion in commitments from private donors and countries and will allow Covax to secure 1.8 billion doses in 2021 and early 2022, Reuters reported.
India is second in cases at 28.4 million, and third by fatalities at 337,989, numbers that are held to be vastly undercounted given a shortage of tests. India is followed by Brazil at 16.7 million cases, according to JHU data, and second in deaths at 467,706. The U.K. has 4.5 million cases and 128,057 deaths, the fifth-highest toll in the world and most in Europe.

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